On this week’s Crime Desk (a new weekly feature where I collect all the week’s stories involving the intersections of crime and combat sports), I focus on Dillon Danis, the Hutch-Kinahan Feud and Bajrang Punia.
The Danis story highlights the dangerous act of swatting and will hopefully serve as a reminder that this is something no one should ever do or celebrate (regardless who the target it). I also have a piece related to the Hutch-Kinahan feud, a subject I have written a great deal about in the past (despite it never being that widely read). I also touch on Bajrang Punia, who has been using his privilege as a male wrestler in a very patriarchal society to speak out for women who say they have been harassed within Indian’s wrestling community. His reward for this is a defamation case that could see him serve jail time.
Please let me know your feedback in the comments. If there are any stories I touch on that you want to see more of, let me know, and I’ll be sure to cover them more in future posts.
Dillon Danis the victim of a swatting prank
BJJ ace Dillon Danis received more attention this year than at any other time in his combat sports career. The grappler and brief Bellator MMA fighter used a Misfits Boxing match with Logan Paul to explode his online notoriety.
Part of his play for internet stardom was targeting Paul’s fiance Nina Agdal with a prolonged online trolling campaign. That campaign centred around attacking Agdal, and by extension Paul, over Agdal having past relationships before getting engaged to Paul.
This behaviour was met with a lawsuit and protective order from Agdal, which alleged that Danis used data stolen from her devices and social media accounts in his attempts to embarrass her and Paul.
Here’s what I wrote when that went down, which I think bears repeating:
Danis’ posts express a view that Agdal is not a person, but instead an object. And that her past relationships represent her being ‘used’ by other men, through sex. By claiming that Agdal has been used so many times, Danis is suggesting that her value (as an object) has decreased.
Because of her supposed decreased value, Danis sees this as a reflection on Paul’s lack of status and potency. Danis, and trolls like him, believe a man’s purpose is to attach valuable objects to their personas as a signal, to other men, that they are virile and important.
This way of thinking has existed for centuries in a multitude of cultures, including those which currently dominate the world we live in. These beliefs have formed a framework that encourages, permits and forgives men for abusing and killing women.
These beliefs are also a popular tool for manosphere ghouls, who seek to isolate men from women and gender-diverse people so, as a group, their outweighed ability to earn and influence our society can be harnessed and exploited for material gain.
In the case of Danis, his attempts to de-value Agdal as some sort of comment on Paul, may have ultimately started a process where he is de-valued to the tune of millions of dollars in settlement and lawyer fees.
Despite my disdain for Danis’ actions in regards to Agdal (and the performance he put in when he finally got inside the ring with Paul), I have no desire to see him harmed. And that’s exactly what could happen if people continue to engage in the dangerous, and potentially deadly, act of swatting against him.
This week Danis revealed that he has been the victim of a swatting prank (and suggested this isn’t the first time). Along with his claim, he included a screen capture of what appears to be armed police from the Jersey City Police Department at his door.
Swatting is the act of triggering a false alarm over a catastrophic and violent event for the purpose of sending brigades of armed police to a target’s location. The practise has existed for decades, but has ramped up in frequency with the rise of the internet (and particularly streaming as a form of entertainment). Celebrities and politicians are common victims of swatting.
In 2017 Andrew Finch was killed by police in Wichita, KS after Tyler Barriss (whose online name was SWAuTistic) called police and told them he had shot his father and was holding his family at gunpoint. Barriss told police he was located at Finch’s address.
Barriss made that call in response to an online argument between two Call of Duty players (who had each lost $1.50 on a game they had bet on). One of those players threatened to swat the other, which resulted in one of them providing a false address (which happened to be Finch’s address, the one Barriss used in his call).
Finch was shot to death on his doorstep when he opened his front door to inspect why there were police officers in front of his house. These weren’t SWAT officers, since the Wichita Police Department did not have a SWAT team or anyone trained in tactical or hostage situations.
In the US swatting is considered a federal crime, fitting under the definitions of threatening interstate communications, conspiracy to retaliate against a witness, victim or informant and conspiracy to commit access device fraud and unauthorized access of a protected computer.
Family of Hutch-Kinahan Feud murder victim seeking State compensation
Daniel Kinahan is currently on the run from US authorities. They believe he is the leader of a billion dollar narcotics smuggling outfit known as the Kinahan Organized Criminal Group. Kinahan, whose last known location was Dubai, had been one of the most powerful players in world boxing until the US sanctioned him and offered a $5 million bounty for his capture in April 2022.
Kinahan founded MTK Global, the boxing and MMA promotion company that represented Tyson Fury, Billy Joe Saunders, Darren Till and many other top combat sports athletes.
Kinahan is accused of involvement in a bloody gangland feud that has resulted in at least a dozen deaths. That feud has been fought with the so-called Hutch Gang.
The Kinahan-Hutch feud’s most notable incident was the Regency Hotel shooting in 2016, where gunman stormed an MTK weigh-in show looking for Kinahan. Kinahan escaped and fled to the Middle East soon after. One of Kinahan’s alleged top lieutenants David Byrne was killed in the attack.
This year Gerry Hutch, the alleged leader of the Hutch Gang, was found not guilty of killing Byrne.
Hutch’s nephew Derek Coakley Hutch was shot and killed in 2018. He was one of a number of Hutch family members killed during the feud.
The 27-year-old Coakley Hutch was killed while sitting in a car at an area designated for use by the Traveller community, close to Cloverhill Prison in Dublin. Coakley Hutch’s killers are yet to be found.
Coakley Hutch’s mother has filed an application to a State fund for families of victims of violent crime for compensation over her son’s death. She is seeking money to cover funeral expenses and the cost of her son’s headstone.
Her request was turned down in April after a tribunal decided it could not dedicate funds to her because her son had been convicted of 14 prior criminal offences.
Mrs. Coakley Hutch alleges that the decision is discriminatory and contrary to EU Law (per The Irish Times).
Popular wrestler Bajrang Punia gets bail after protesting treatment of women wrestlers
Wrestling in India was rocked this year after a number of female wrestlers came forwards to disclose sexual harassment they said they suffered from Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the chief of the Wrestling Federation of India. They claimed these incidents spanned from 2012 to 2022 and included touching without consent, stalking, intimidating and demands for sexual favours in exchange for career advancement.
These claims lead to a mass protest against Singh and the WFI.
One of the most notable figures at that protest was Bajrang Punia. Punia is one of India’s most decorated male wrestlers with a Bronze at the 2020 Tokyo Games and Golds at the Asian and Commonwealth games.
Bajrang was hit with a criminal defamation case earlier this year after he responded to calls from coach Naresh Dahiya to stop protests and stand behind Singh. Bajrang criticized Dahiya and said he had no place to talk in this conversation because he was facing a rape case of his own.
Dahiya sued Bajrang for defamation, saying he had been acquitted of committing rape. Bajrang has been summoned to court to face defamation charges.
According to Times of India Bajrang has now secured bail in this case, which would allow him to travel and compete while fighting the case.
Australian pro boxer Luke Jackson held at airport for $150,000 in luggage
38-year-old Luke Jackson, a former Australia Olympic team captain who fought Carl Frampton for the WBO featherweight title in 2018, was arrested at Hobart Airport in Tasmania last week. Police allege that Jackson had $150,000 AUD in cash concealed in his luggage during a flight from Sydney. He has been charged with dealing with property reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime. (full story)
Boxer being held hostage in Nigeria
A female boxer from Guwahati, India is reportedly being held captive in Nigeria. India Today report that Barnali Baurah Saikia was vacationing in Nigeria in October when she stopped communicating with her family. After four days Barnali was able to contact her family and say she was being held captive by an individual called ‘King’ who she said had taken her from the airport and has confiscated her visa and passport. (full story)
Former WWE wrestler has felony battery trial date moved
Kimberly Ann Frankele, who wrestled under the name Kimber Lee in the WWE between 2016 and 2018, was arrested in Florida this year and charged with a DUI and two felonies for resisting arrest with violence and battery on an officer.
Frankele was arrested outside a shopping mall in Sebring, Fl on May 11. The arrest report claims she struck a police officer in the chest when he tried to handcuff her and then kicked him in the chest and face, causing the police officer’s lip and gums to bleed. The report also claimed that Frankele bit the officer on the hand, hard enough to draw blood.
Frankele has plead not guilty to the charges. Recently a judge approved her motion for continuance, rescheduling her trial to November 28.
Daycare workers accused of running ‘child fight club’
Two daycare workers in North Carolina have been charged with child abuse and neglect after they were accused of encouraging young children to fight each other at the facility they worked at. (full story)
Bare knuckle fighter punches 78-year-old in pub
Douglas Joyce, 35, a bare knuckle fighter and founder of 3D Fight Club, was sentenced to 19 months in prison by Manchester Crown Court this week for his attack on a 78-year-old man.
That attack, which was caught on video, featured Joyce standing over and repeatedly striking the man in the head. (full story)
Survivors of sexual assault can find support via the following organizations:
End Rape on Campus (EROC), 1-424-777-EROC (3762).
Canada – Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime, 1-877-232-2610.
UK – UK Says No More.
Rest of the World – International Rape Crisis Hotlines.
You know you can count on us for quick, consistent quality UFC and MMA coverage. Bloody Elbow is an independent, reader supported publication. Please subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with our best work and learn how you can support the site.
Join the new Bloody Elbow
Our Substack is where we feature the work of writers like Zach Arnold, John Nash and Karim Zidan. We’re fighting for the sport, the fighters and the fans. Please help us by subscribing today.
About the author